How to eat healthy during Christmas

Dylan Thacker

Once finals are over and the students go home for break, snacks and sweet treats are everywhere.

The Christmas season, which brings large holiday meals for friends and family, is tempting.

“Although many articles tend to state that the Freshman 15 is a myth, I tend to see it all the time with clients coming into the center,” said Tanya Falcone, coordinator for the Center of Nutrition Outreach at Kent State. “They gain weight, it decreases their self-confidence, they get depressed, and angry, and frustrated and they give up.”

However, it’s not impossible to stay on track.While this can be hard with Grandma’s fresh-baked desserts on the table, avoid the food-pushers and, instead, turn to healthier options.

“My one rule: veg-out on veggies,” said Adrienne Raimo, a Columbus-based integrative and functional dietitian.

Instead of grabbing a holiday cookie, opt for carrots and vegetable dip. Even cinnamon-covered nuts with provide better nutrition than a big serving size of stuffing.

However, eating healthier doesn’t necessarily mean you have to give up on honey-glazed ham, or religiously track your MyFitnessPal.

“I don’t necessarily agree with the whole idea of weighing food or counting anything,” Falcone said. “Instead of like to tell people just to eat a little less. When nothing healthy is available, this works best.”

As for beverages, follow the golden rule: don’t drink your calories. Always go for water or lighter holiday beverages like apple cider.

Try to avoid eggnog, which boasts 223 calories and 11 grams of fat in each drink.

Though hard to find, healthy options do exist on campus. They exist at home, over the holidays, as well. If someone truly wants to lead a healthier lifestyle, then they have to make some sacrifices. That doesn’t mean cut out  the holiday treats all together, though.

Enjoy holiday treats in smaller portions, make substitutions where you can, and plan ahead for some healthier merry meals.

Dylan Thacker is the fitness and recreation reporter. Contact him at [email protected].